Connect with us

News

Morning 9: Rory talks truth | Rose’s big announcement | PXG Gen2 launch

Published

on

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

January 2, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, and a belated Happy New Year…should be a good one for golf!
1. “More money, more ranking points”
Rory McIlroy, only once a winner on the PGA Tour in the past two years, enters the 2019 season looking to make some changes. While he walked back suggestions he’s cutting back his European Tour schedule, the Ulsterman seemed to…walk them forward ahead of the Tournament of Champions.
Per Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski, McIlroy said.
  • “You go to Europe and get paid a nice amount of money to start the year…I want to switch it up. I’ve done it for 11 years so I may as well do something a little different.”
  • “It’s so one-sided,…Look, you can talk all you want about these bigger events in Europe, but you can go to America and play for more money and more ranking points. I think as well with the world ranking points, everyone out here, all of their contracts with sponsors, it’s all about world ranking points. If players are getting paid more and earning more world ranking points, why would you play over there?”
  • “I want to play against the best players in the world. I get a buzz from that. I’d much rather go down the stretch against Justin Thomas or Dustin Johnson. I’m not putting anyone down in Europe, but the depths of fields and everything is just that bit better over here. It’s what everyone is striving for. It’s why [Italy’s] Francesco Molinari is here this week. It’s where it’s heading.
  • “The ultimate goal is here,” McIlroy added. “The European Tour is a stepping stone. That’s the truth. The European Tour is a stepping stone. That’s the way it is. It’s tough. I still want to support the European Tour, and I talk about this loyalty thing with Europe. … [But] it’s not as though I’m just starting out and jumping ship. I’ve done my time. I’ve done everything I feel like I need to do to say OK, I’m going to make my own decisions and do what I want.”
2. New from PXG
Kicking off equipment launches for 2019, PXG announced the second generation of its 0811 drivers, woods, and hybrids.
The selling point: Hot Rod Technology in the clubs’ crowns.
  • In true Bob Parsons fashion, the second generation driver offering from Scottsdale-based PXG draws inspiration from something very fast, very custom, and VERY USA: the American hot rod. 2019 will mark the year that PXG truly has a driver offering that lives up to the performance of its irons. That’s right, PXG is a legitimate driver company now with a product that will hold its own.
  • The 0811 X and XF Gen2’s carbon fiber crown has the aggressive hood styling of a 500 horsepower Shelby Mustang. The sleek new multi-level crown not only packs a new-and-improved aerodynamic design but also provides structural support to the face where it’s most needed, according to the company. The resulting reduction in energy loss translates to a distance boost with enhanced control, as well as reduced drag.
  • The Hot Rod Technology-laden crown also acts as an alignment aid and reduces glare, says PXG, and it dampens vibration for what the company describes as “a pleasant and unique feel and sound, reminiscent of a persimmon driver head.”
3. In-round interviews?
It worked well in Europe…
Doug Ferguson writes…“Such interviews are not likely to occur in the final round, and PGA Tour officials are sensitive to the timing of the interviews. A quick spot with Dustin Johnson after his 432-yard drive came within 6 inches of the cup last year at Kapalua might be ideal. Right after a three-putt bogey from 10 feet might not be.”
  • “Marc Leishman has experience doing on-course interviews when he plays in Australia, and he didn’t mind the concept.”
  • ”If they do end up having them, my advice would be to have someone who has played on Tour to do it, to be a little sensitive of the questions and the timing of the interview,” Leishman said. ”But anything where you can be more accessible to the viewers is a good thing. We want to bring more people to the game. It might be a way to give more insight to what we’re thinking at the time.'”
  • “Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, isn’t likely to be among the candidates…”I’ve been approached in Europe because they’ve done it for a couple of years,” McIlroy said. ”And I’ve said, ‘No,’ every single time.”
4. Rose to Honma
While the news broke yesterday, the Morning 9 was enjoying its pork and sauerkraut, so we’re presenting it here today. In a significant coup for the Japanese luxury equipment company, Justin Rose has signed a multi-year deal with Honma.
  • One of the worst-kept secrets in the golf equipment world is no longer secret: world No. 2 Justin Rose is officially a Honma staffer.
  • The Japanese premium equipment company announced the signing in a press release today.
  • “I’m extremely excited to be joining Honma,” said Rose, in the press release. “Coming off one of my best years professionally, I wanted to make it a point to get better. I believe Honma equipment and the legendary Honma craftsmanship can help make me better.”
  • Rose had previously played a full TaylorMade bag for the past 20 years.
  • Former TaylorMade CEO Mark King joined Honma as a strategic advisor late in 2018. Many expected he’d be tasked with helping the brand make a larger splash in the European and American markets, the financial resources of new company owner, Chinese billionaire Liu Jianguo, behind him.
  • Honma has never had a male player ranked inside the top 150 under contract. On the women’s side, however, top players So Yeon Ryu and Shan-Shan Feng play the company’s wares.
5. Not if, but how many(?)
A bold prognostication! Adam Woodward at USA Today sees multiple majors in El Tigre’s future.
  • “But this is golf, a sport that continually proves the old adage that age is just, in fact, a number….Thirty six players have won majors at 40 or older, including: Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Vijay Singh, Gary Player, Darren Clarke, Payne Stewart, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson.”
  • “Despite his advancing age, Woods will have a great shot at winning his 15th major title this season. Seven of his 80 PGA Tour wins – six of his 14 major titles – came at courses hosting a major this year.”
  • “Barring major injury or a total collapse, Woods may also have a legitimate chance to break Boros’ record. Woods, whose last major title was at the 2008 U.S. Open, finished runner-up at the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont. He’ll be 49 when the event returns to Oakmont in 2025. Woods also could tie the record at the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, the course where he also finished runner-up in 2005.”
6. Further bold predictions!
These from Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…
  • “A player(s) will violate the new rules on green-reading materials. Like nearly all rule violations on the PGA Tour these will be unintentional violations. And considering how the new regulation is written, a breach is inevitable. Consider that the scale and size of green-reading materials are now regulated, but also a player is allowed to use a book that would be in violation of the policy from the tee or fairway, just not the green. An inadvertent miscue is inevitable.”
  • “Tour golf will become a popular (and creative) platform for sports betting. With the introduction of federal gaming guidelines, expect to see a bump in interest in the Tour as gamblers begin to realize how much potential action is available during a round. As one Tour official recently explained, other sports feature a single ball and a single bat at any given moment. In golf there are potentially 78 balls and bats in motion at one time.”
  • “Cameron Champ will shatter last year’s long-drive record. And it will probably happen this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The rookie has already proven himself to be a singular talent who is capable of much more than prodigious drives, but last season’s mark of 433 yards set by Michael Block at the U.S. Open seems well within reach for Champ. “Because of his speed he can hit these shots that really aren’t efficient in flight that carry 300 yards,” said Champ’s swing coach Sean Foley.”
7. Bryson is ready
Dave Shedloski writes of Bryson’s conviction that he’ll leave the flag in on all putts at Kapalua…”His final order of business was on the practice putting green, where he was further testing the viability of leaving the flagstick in for even the shortest putts. Significant changes to the Rules of Golf take effect today, including the rule that previously made it a penalty when a ball played from the green struck the flagstick. No more.”
  • “After the testing we’ve seen, and what we just did out there now, absolutely, I’m going to leave it in. I’m going to do it until I can see that it messes me up,” the erudite youngster averred. “For the most part, we’ve seen it to be a benefit and not a detriment. That’s from anywhere.”
  • “So, just to throw out a number, he would leave it in for a three-footer?…”Heck, potentially a one-footer. From anywhere,” he clarifies. “How many times do you just walk up to your ball and you knock it against the pin and it goes in? You’re at your local club just out there beating it around. Boink, dink, it goes in. Every time. Right?”
8. Na to play Callaway Clubs
Golfweek’s David Dusek…”Kevin Na, who won last season’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, is in Hawaii preparing for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. On New Years Eve, a few hours before the clock struck 12 on the East Coast, he took to Instagram and made a major equipment announcement.”
“Although it is tough to tell from the photo, it appears Na already switched to Callaway’s Apex Pro irons, and there were several photos of him playing last season with a Callaway Epic driver, including at the Tour Championship at East Lake.”
He’ll continue to play Titleist’s ProV1x ball.
9. Rose’s new weapons
Mentioned earlier, Justin Rose will be playing 10 Honma clubs in 2019. He posted this shot of his “Rose Proto” T//World irons to Instagram. A fine instrument!
Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

Phil phires a 60 | Lowry leads in Abu Dhabi | Bernhard the bricklayer’s son

Published

on

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

January 18, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1.  Desert Classic
A “rusty” Mickelson leads with nothing less than a 12-under 60…
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…”If this is his idea of rusty, it could be another special year for Phil Mickelson…Before heading out to begin his 28th year on the PGA Tour, Lefty alerted his 250,000-plus Twitter followers that he was “excited” and “fresh” and “ready to get started,” but also, um, “rusty,” which is a golfer’s subtle way of suggesting that expectations should be lowered. Mickelson even told his playing partner, Aaron Wise, the reigning Rookie of the Year, as much before the round: “I’m rusty, so don’t expect much.”
  • “But Mickelson has been doing the improbable for nearly three decades now, and so maybe it shouldn’t have been such a complete surprise that in his first round of 2019, at 48 years of age, with no expectations, he carded his lowest score in relation to par in his long and decorated Tour career – a 12-under 60, to take the lead Thursday at the Desert Classic.”
  • “It was kind of a lucky day in the sense that I did not feel sharp heading in,” Mickelson said afterward. “Sometimes it’s just one of those days when it clicks.”
2. Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour…
AP Report…”Nearly three months after Lewis became a mother, and six months after she last played on tour, she opened with seven birdies on Thursday for a 5-under 66 that left her one shot behind Brooke Henderson and Eun-Hee Ji at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.”
  • ”Pleasantly surprised,” Lewis said. ”Had pretty low expectations going into the day. Just really made a lot of putts. I had some weird shots, which I knew was going to happen having not played in a while. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m going to take it.”
  • “Henderson overcame a slow start with a bogey on the second hole and a par save on No. 3 at the Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons. She birdied five of her last eight holes for a 65 to tie Ji, who had a bogey-free round.”
  • “The tournament – the first season-opener in Florida for the LPGA since 2015 – is only for LPGA winners each of the last two years.”
3. European Tour
A report from The National...”Shane Lowry has a three-shot advantage to take into Saturday’s final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.”
  • “A birdie at the 18th gave him a round of 67 to leave him on -17, three ahead of South African Richard Sterne.”
  • “An eagle on the final hole from Ian Poulter lifted the Englishman to -12 and gives him hope he can prevail on Saturday.”
  • “Pablo Larrazabal will start the final round on -11 ahead of a quartet of Maximilian Kiefer, Thomas Pieters, Soren Kjeldsen and Scott Jamieson.”
4. The bricklayer’s son
Bernhard Langer’s “My Shot” runs in Golf Digest this month.
A few morsels…
  • “My father built our house. When I was a boy, he would call on me to help him lay bricks. I would shovel the material for the mortar into a small mixing machine, then join him in laying the bricks, setting them carefully, one by one, using string to make sure everything was straight. I consider it a miracle to have come this far.”
  • “WE CADDIES were given four hand-me-down clubs to share. There was a 2-wood, 3-iron and 7-iron, all with bamboo shafts, and a putter with a shaft bent like an archer’s bow. By the time I was 12, I saved enough money to buy a new set of Kroydon irons. They weren’t top of the line, but they were shiny, new and all mine. I added a Blue Goose model putter that had a small indentation in the head. It was a magical putter, and I quickly became the best putter at the course, Golfclub Augsburg, and possibly all of Germany. One day the putter went missing. I frantically went through the members’ bags, and sure enough, found my Blue Goose with the indentation. But I was in a terrible situation. I couldn’t confront the member-he surely would deny everything, and I would be fired. So I kept it to myself. I never did get the Blue Goose back. I’ve spent the past 50 years looking for a putter that suits me as well.”
5. Latin American Am
AP Report…“Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico had an ideal start Thursday in hopes of turning his fortunes in the Latin American Amateur Championship, opening with a 6-under 66 to build a three-shot lead after the opening round.”
  • “Ortiz has been runner-up in the Latin American Amateur the last two years. He finished five shots behind Joaquin Niemann of Chile last year, and he lost in a three-man playoff to Toto Gana the previous year.”
  • “The winner earns a spot in the Masters in April, and is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open.”
6. Pins in at Augusta National? Maybe…
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”Will players really be allowed to putt with the pins in during at the Masters?”
  • “Asked that question Thursday at the Latin America Amateur Championship, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley didn’t say no.”
  • “Under the new Rules of Golf, which went into effect on Jan. 1, players are now allowed to leave the flagstick in while on the greens, as Bryson DeChambeau so eagerly demonstrated.”
  • “Addressing the possibility of Augusta National going against the Rules of Golf during Masters week, Ridley first thanked the USGA’s Mike Davis and R&A’s Martin Slumbers for their work, then preached a message of “consistency” at the game’s highest levels.”
  • “We will, as we always do, collaborate with the governing bodies. We will talk about those local rules and conditions that will be implemented,” Ridley said.”
  • “We think it’s important that there be some consistency in top championship golf, and so you should expect that the Masters Tournament, from a rules perspective, will look very much, if not the same, as what you’re seeing in the major championships and the professional tours.”
7. The weirdest lies in golf history
Great stuff here from Coleman Bentley rounding up some of the most absurd lies (and resultant shots) in golf history (although it’s hard to believe there’s any way his list could be comprehensive, but hey, headlines, and you have to admire the effort)
  • “Golf is a game of minutely controlled chaos. Atoms crashing into atoms. Weight swooping into inertia. A ballet of bounces, spins, kicks, and ricochets that goes wrong just as often as it goes right. The beauty of a such an unpredictable game-one of inches, not yards-however, is that when it goes right it’s spectacular and when it goes wrong, well, it’s equally spectacular. Beg to differ? Well, keep on begging, because as the weirdest, wildest lies in golf’s weird, wild history prove, chaos is a beautiful thing indeed.”
  • “Shane Lowry – 2018 Abu Dhabi Championship…Before Shane Lowry could tie the course record at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Championship, he first had to conquer Trash Heap Corner. P.S. If no one’s taking that couch, we might know a guy who’s interested.”
  • “Phil Mickelson – 2014 Barclays Championship…The Leave: Just to the left of Big Jeff’s Hotdog Haus. One day Phil Mickelson will save par from the surface of the moon. We’re sure of it. Until then, his walkabout at the 2014 Barclays Championship will have to suffice.”
8. Kang & McNealy
A couple of Las Vegas-based golf pros are a couple!
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell...”Danielle Kang watched Maverick McNealy with special interest when he was mic’d up on Golf Channel’s telecast of the Web.com Tour event in the Bahamas earlier this week.”
  • “They are dating.”
  • “Kang wasn’t sure whether to reveal McNealy is her boyfriend, but she couldn’t help herself.”
  • “He’s a dork,” she cracked when asked to review his running dialogue on Golf Channel. “But he’s my dork.”
  • “She was applying the Kang needle. Both she and McNealy live in Las Vegas. She said they met at a golf course there, The Summit Club.”
  • “He’s a sweetheart,” Kang said. “I have so much respect for him and vice versa.”
  • Aww!
9. Back in black!
Titleist 718 AP2 Black and AP3 Black released in limited quantities. Previously only available in a traditional chrome finish, the new Titleist 718 AP2 Black and Titleist 718 AP3 Black irons are finished with a sleek, high polish black PVD coating. The irons feature True Temper AMT Onyx shafts stock.
  • Titleist has unveiled new 718 AP2 Black and 718 AP3 Black irons in limited black finish that will be available to purchase from March 1.
  • Previously only available in a traditional chrome finish, the new Titleist 718 AP2 Black and Titleist 718 AP3 Black irons are finished with a sleek, high polish black PVD coating. The irons feature True Temper AMT Onyx shafts stock. The shafts’ powder coat matte black finish aims to minimize glare (in addition to looking cool). An all-black Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grip is standard as well.
  • Speaking on the move to release the irons in black, Josh Talge, Vice President, Golf Club Marketing said
  • “One request we heard from both tour players and amateurs, particularly those who have gravitated toward our Jet Black Vokey SM7 wedges, was if they could have these same irons in a darker finish. Our team spent a lot of time making sure the aesthetics were done just right. It’s a look that you just have to see.”
Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Equipment

Brooks Koepka with Mizuno JPX 919 irons, TaylorMade M5 driver in the bag at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Published

on

Brooks-Koepka-Mizuno-JPX919

Brooks Koepka is in action this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship equipped with a new driver and set of irons.

Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall broke the news, via Twitter, that Kopeka has TaylorMade’s new M5 Driver in his bag this week, as well as Mizuno’s JPX 919 Tour Irons.

The three-time major champ used TaylorMade’s M3 460 Driver and Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons throughout 2018, and it appears as if Koepka is happy to make the transition to both manufacturers latest additions of those series of clubs right from the get-go in 2019.

Brooks-Koepka-Mizuno-JPX-919

Koepka is currently T13 after two rounds of play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and sits five shots off the lead.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 40
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW1
  • LOL5
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB2
  • SHANK5

Continue Reading

News

European Tour members have heated exchange over cheating incident…from 2013

Published

on

Social media appears to have become the new playground for golfers to air their issues with each other, and this week it was the turn of two European Tour members.

The two men involved were Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and England’s Simon Dyson, and the subject of the feud revolves around a new change in the rulebook of golf. As of 2019, players are allowed to repair spike marks on the greens, an act which Dyson was found guilty of doing when it was prohibited back in 2013, and subsequently found himself slapped with a fine and a suspension.

Fernandez Castano kicked off the fun and games following his opening round at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The Spaniard said how the new rule “will take some time to get used to” before adding the punchline  “Unless you are Simon Dyson and you have been doing it for years.”

The bad blood between Fernandez-Castano and Dyson appears to be fully down to Dyson’s misdemeanour in 2013, as one year later on Twitter when the Spaniard was asked for his opinion on Dyson; he bluntly replied: “Used to like him, not anymore”.

Asked why he hadn’t tagged Dyson in his tweet yesterday, the Spaniard claimed that the Englishman had blocked him, before Dyson took to the stage, with a different rationale. In a since-deleted tweet, Dyson stated that Fernandez-Castano didn’t have the cojones (or something similar) and stated that the Spaniard is a “sad little man”.

After getting that off his chest, Dyson approached the incident differently, saying that he, unlike Fernandez-Caetano supposedly, had moved on from the affair which occurred six years ago.

Nothing quite like a good old confrontation on social media with a peer to begin your professional year, eh?

 

Your Reaction?
  • 11
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB0
  • SHANK10

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending